County nonprofit organizations such as local watershed groups, homeowner and community associations, faith-based organizations and civic groups can now apply for grants up to $100,000 for projects like tree planting, installing permeable pavers or building rain gardens.
The “Clean Water Montgomery Grant Program” aims to reduce stormwater runoff and pollutants affecting water quality through community-based projects, according to a county press release. The County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Chesapeake Bay Trust (the Trust) operate through a partnership to oversee the Trust’s grant process.
The grants should be geared towards projects that aim to improve the County’s water quality and stream health as called for in the County’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit.
The County and the Trust will accept applications in the following categories:
- Tree planting and reforestation projects (up to $100,000).
- Public outreach and stewardship projects such as knowledge building (up to $40,000).
- Community-based restoration projects such as parking lot replacement with permeable pavement (up to $100,000).
- Litter-reduction projects in the Anacostia River Watershed (up to $50,000).
The grant program is made possible through the County’s Water Quality Protection Fund and through Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) funding. The goal of the program is to broaden the diversity of people and groups involved and to support projects focused on education, outreach and stewardship.
In 2021, 15 organizations were awarded with more than $500,000 total in grant funding for projects like green infrastructure/stormwater projects, pavement removal, water-quality monitoring projects and street trees and conservation landscape plantings. Projects also included community outreach programs like engagement of Latino audiences, work with and by faith-based audiences and green jobs programs.
“These grants supported projects to improve water quality, plant trees, engage diverse audiences and create green jobs throughout the County,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “I am proud to see this work that enriches our local communities and has a positive impact on our shared environment.”
The average approval rate for fully and partially funded applications from the last three rounds in this grant program is 73%. Entities are encouraged to contact the Trust to discuss their eligible project ideas prior to submitting their proposals.
Eligible projects that are outside of the municipalities of Rockville, Gaithersburg and Takoma Park will be considered.
Applications are due no later than 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022.
To learn more, register for the pre-application workshop or review the request for proposals, visit https://cbtrust.org/grants/montgomery-county-watershed-restoration-outreach/ or contact Kathy Somoza at 410-974-2941, ext. 120.